Memo to the rest of the college football world: Don't miss North Carolina running back Giovani Bernard.
NC State's defense did. Over and over again.
Bernard is not going to win the Heisman Trophy this year, but he should at least be given his due as one of the most productive, complete players in the country right now. What he did against NC State this past weekend was stunning.
If Bernard decides to leave school early for the NFL, the ACC will lose another great running back and Heisman hopeful. With the gruesome, unfortunate injury to South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore this past weekend, Bernard is now the top-rated back by Scouts Inc. with a mid second-round grade. Here's a snippet of what Kevin Weidl had to say about Bernard:
I saw Bernard live a few weeks ago and his complete overall game is impressive. He runs low and hard, shows good lateral agility, contributes in the passing game and as a kick returner, and no back in the nation maximizes his carries like Bernard.
Bernard is going to have a tough decision to make after this season: Stay or go? If he stays, his Heisman campaign can start in the season opener against South Carolina. Bernard's decision will be impossible to predict. His teammate, offensive guard Jonathan Cooper, told me he changed his mind several times last year before deciding to return for 2012.
While Bernard's stock has risen, Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas' stock has dropped. It would be wise for Thomas to stick around another year, and reports seem to indicate that's what he'll do. Here's an excerpt of what Weidl had to say about Thomas:
Thomas came into the season as our No. 2-rated quarterback prospect but has struggled to live up to expectations for a variety of reasons in 2012, including inconsistent mechanics and footwork that have resulted in timing issues and high throws. In fact, he's been so inconsistent that we've taken him completely off our board.